Braised Pork - A Novel
Publisher: Grove Press
We are thrilled to have been able to acquire this novel, which was one of the most talked-about books at the 2018 London Book Fair. UK rights were acquired by Kate Harvey at Harvill Secker after a seven-way auction and rights were snapped up by Mondadori in Italy, DTV in Germany, Delcourt in France, Eksmo in Russia, and Quetzal in Portugal. This kind of excitement is very rare for a debut and we feel very lucky to be An Yu’s publisher in North America. Braised Pork has been named an “Indies Introduce” title, selected by a group of booksellers chaired by Jake Cumsky-Whitlock of Solid State. We have had huge success for our recent Indies Introduce picks, including The Far Field, Freshwater, and Convenience Store Woman. We expect Braised Pork to follow in the footsteps of these successful Grove debuts and feel that readers who loved Convenience Store Woman will particularly enjoy this novel. A spare yet gorgeously evocative debut, Braised Pork is set predominantly in Beijing but was written in English. It’s rare that we see a novel set among China’s affluent middle classes, exploring questions of personal identity rather than politics or poverty. Braised Pork is a novel about womanhood, grief, family, and self-realization, centering on a young woman at a crossroads after the unexpected death of her husband and evoking the films of Wong Kar-Wai and the novels of Haruki Murakami in its atmosphere. An Yu is an incredibly talented young writer who was just 25 when we acquired the book. She is at the beginning of a long and fruitful career and already working on her second novel. She attended NYU’s MFA program in Paris, where she worked with John Freeman, Aleksander Hemon, Katie Kitamura, and Matthew Thomas, from whom we are soliciting early blurbs. We are also reaching out to writers from Ocean Vuong to R. O. Kwon to Elif Batuman to Yiyun Li for endorsements. We expect strong review and media attention. The author did her undergraduate degree at NYU, so she is connected to America. She will be able to speak on subjects as varied as growing up as part of China’s middle class, her career in fashion, and why she chose to write in English rather than Mandarin. We will pitch her for a profile at an outlet such as the New York Times or T Magazine, and work on placing excerpts in places like the Paris Review or Literary Hub. We expect strong review attention for this unusual book. We will publish a few months after the UK publisher (their publication date is January 9) which will allow us to take advantage of praise and momentum from their publication.